Waterloo Schools take part in safety assessment - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo Schools take part in safety assessment

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by John Wilmer        

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- This week Waterloo Schools are participating in a safety assessment to find out how well prepared they are to handle an emergency. The school district brought in an expert to go through each school and talk to the faculty and staff about safety issues.

Ken Trump, the President and CEO of National School Safety and Security Services, has 25 years of experience in this field.

"Parents will forgive school officials if their tests scores go down a bit, but they're much less forgiving if something happens to their kids when they come to school," Trump said.

"It's a good idea to have an independent assessment, somebody from the outside who can take a look at the big picture," Waterloo School District Spokesperson Sharon Miller said.

Trump says special locks on doors and video camera's are important tools, but are not the best way to keep schools safe.

"The first and best line of defense is always a well trained highly alert staff and student body. It's from a kid that we learn about weapons in the building and from staff members who have to respond to an emergency that has relationships with the kids.  We also need school officials who are working well with police, fire and emergency medical staff," Trump said.

Trump also says along with these safety measures comes improvements in academics.

"If you don't have a safe school you will not have the academic achievement.  The Waterloo School Board and superintendent are being very proactive and making sure they have safety plans in place," Trump said.

"We expect to hear that there are some really good things in place already, but we're always looking for ways we can improve," Miller said.

The assessment continues through the end of week. After receiving the full assessment, it will be up to the Waterloo School Board to approve any changes to the district's emergency plans.

The Waterloo School District already takes part in a number of drills, such as tornado and fire drills. They also do lock downs every year and evacuate the schools every other year all an effort to keep students prepared for the worst.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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